Folkvang - _On the Wings of Destiny_
(Ancient Nation, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (9 out of 10)
The name Folkvang ("folk-plain") is taken from Norse mythology: the dwelling of Freyja in Asgard, where her hall Sessrumnir stood. It is an idyllic land where love songs played constantly. (So far so hippie-ish.) But it is also said to receive half of those slain on the battlefield. (Much better!)

This contrast between war and peace is reflected in Folkvang's music, which merges harsh black metal with a softer post-Burzum sound. This is especially noticeable on opener "Another Life of Our World", which starts with a beautiful, melancholic riff fading in, before abruptly switching gear and blasting away on a _Transilvanian Hunger_ styled riff, but still retaining their distinctive organic sound. A touch of acoustic guitar surfaces occasionally, but no other folk instruments make an appearance. Compared to their previous offering _World of Wisdom_, this is a more varied and ultimately more rewarding release.

The lyrics (of the English songs) are centred on national romantic themes of Paganism and heritage, and I imagine the Russian language songs are in a similar vein.

The end result is absolutely breathtaking, and wonders why it was thought that this deserved a tape only release. (This was originally released in 2005; the CD version was released only last month.)

My major issue with this release? The vocals. The constant reverb is an unnecessary annoyance and adds nothing to the songs. Dump it now! Otherwise I cannot recommend this album highly enough. Forget the other flute waving swastika doodlers -- this is Pagan metal as it is meant to be.


(article published 14/2/2007)

3/8/2007 Q Kalis 8.5 Folkvang - World of Wisdom
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